Historic racing

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Hall of Fame set for action

New Motor Sport feature adds zest to Race Retro | By Paul Lawrence

Race Retro will be ‘powered by’ Motor Sport magazine when the international historic motor sport show returns to Stoneleigh Park, Coventry from February 24-26 next year.

Under a new three-year partnership, Motor Sport’s Hall of Fame will develop into a live spectacle (Above, Damon Hill is pictured on the Motor Sport stand at this year’s show). ‘Hall of Fame Live’ will give visitors the chance to meet inductees from racing and rallying as well as enjoying live interviews with the stars. There will also be displays of the cars and bikes that took them to victory. 

The Motor Sport Hall of Fame, launched in 2010, inducts four or five stars each year, the most recent being Sébastien Loeb, Derek Bell, Valentino Rossi, Dan Gurney and Professor Sid Watkins (see page 88). 

Damien Smith, editor of Motor Sport, said: “We are delighted and excited with this new partnership which will push the Motor Sport Hall of Fame to the next level for 2017 and beyond. We’re looking forward to featuring a physical Hall of Fame display at our favourite historic racing car show of the year, which has always had a perfect synergy with Motor Sport magazine.” 

Silverstone winners return

Two British Grand Prix-winning cars from the past 20 years will be in action at Silverstone Classic on July 29-31. The ex-Jacques Villeneuve 1996 Williams FW18 and the ex-Mika Häkkinen 2001 McLaren MP4-16A won at Silverstone in period and will be driven by Zak Brown and United Autosports boss Richard Dean during the ‘Legends of Modern F1’ demonstration sessions.

American Brown, who will be making his debut at the event, will race Jackie Stewart’s March 701 in the FIA Masters Historic Formula 1 Championship double-header. The Ken Tyrrell-entered car scored the first F1 victory for the fledgling March team in the 1970 Race of Champions at Brands Hatch and Stewart later took second place in the non-championship Silverstone International Trophy.

Shelsley Walsh’s big day

Shelsley Walsh is preparing for one of the biggest events in its long history on July 16/17 when Hans Stuck will drive a C-type Auto Union up the 1000-yard hill during the Classic Nostalgia weekend. The demonstration will recreate his father’s entry at the Worcestershire venue 80 years earlier and will cap a busy weekend of competition, displays and sideshows at the world’s oldest motor sport venue.

Other attractions include an Audi Sport Quattro, last driven at Shelsley Walsh 30 years ago by Hannu Mikkola, and a tribute to Group B rallying that includes Jimmy McRae in his 1986 MG Metro 6R4.

Cooper 70th celebrations

Seventy years of the Cooper Car Company will be celebrated at the Prescott hillclimb on Saturday July 30, with a gathering of about 70 sports cars and single-seaters from John Cooper’s operation.

The event marks 70 years since John Cooper and Eric Brandon competed at the first post-war Prescott hillclimb with the prototype Cooper MkI in the summer of 1946 (above).

A diverse range of Coopers, from 500cc F3 cars to Grand Prix cars, will take part in competition classes for sports and single-seaters while others will complete demonstration runs. John Cooper’s son Michael will be there with the ex-Jackie Stewart Cooper-BMC T72.

GpB demo at Montlhéry 

The heritage of the historic Montlhéry circuit near Paris will be celebrated in September, with the second running of Les Grandes Heures Automobiles. More than 200 historic competition cars and motorcycles will be in action on the famous banked track, constructed in 1924, and Group B rally cars will run into the night in demonstration sessions. Each group of cars will have four 20-minute track outings.

Famous names from the history of the sport will also be present on September 24/25. There will be 10 hours of track action on Saturday alone, finishing at 10pm. A major classic car club parking area will be located inside the historic circuit.

Costin under the hammer

After 45 years in storage, the works prototype Costin-Nathan sports-racing car from 1966 will be offered for sale at Chateau Impney (July 9/10).

Unveiled at the Racing Car Show, the car was a joint venture between racer/constructor Roger Nathan and aerodynamicist Frank Costin. Unusually it featured a timber monocoque.

Nathan raced the car in 1966 with a Hillman Imp engine and it was sold at the end of the campaign.

The car was bought by GM Horsley, who entered it for Chris Meek in 1967 before putting put in into storage.

It will now be offered for sale by H&H with a guide price of £25,000 to £30,000.

Roger Clark rally returns

The Roger Albert Clark Rally is set to return to the calendar in November 2017 with a new format.

Event manager Colin Heppenstall is planning a longer and tougher rally over four days from November 9-12 2017.

“The outline of the event will be a four-day format offering between 200 and 225 stage miles using forest districts around the country, with stages of a length to challenge the competitors,” said Heppenstall. “It is hoped that forest districts in Wales, Yorkshire, Kielder and the Scottish Borders will be used. It is our intention to make this event available on both subjective route notes and maps.”